Race report – South West Road Relay Championships
On a glorious and sunny Saturday morning, the South West Road Relay Championships awaits, writes James Cutlan.
A 3.2km loop of Exeter Racecourse with five other men representing our wonderful club.
Picked up at 11am by Jamie we headed off and collected Paul and Brett. Dan and Rich already on route. The journey to Exeter was great, Jamie’s classic Beach Boys album on loop certainly created a chilled vibe before our intense 3.2km race.
As the car journey went on and I felt I was starting to learn the words to “Barbara Ann” the traffic came to a sudden stand still at the M5 junction. Worried looks on our faces of a late registration, the turning for the A38 was close and with a few texts coming to and throw, luckily Dan and Rich contacted the race organisers and arrived early enough to start the registration of the men’s team.
We arrived at Exeter race course though with half an hour to spare, plenty of time to warm up and seek out the toilet for the pre-race business.
The order of runners were given, Rich, Dan, myself, Paul, Brett and finally el captaino Jamie to finish us off.
Team photo taken in the sunshine and off we went to the start line. The race course itself looked massive, certainly didn’t feel like it was nearly two miles long and with Rich warming up to start us off the shout out for all ‘A runners’ to come to the start line quickly came round.
1:30pm and the race has begun, Rich soon completed his loop and coming in strong with a great time he tagged the hand of Dan to set off for the second loop.
As soon as Dan set off my next stop was yet again the toilet.
Always getting nervous and the call out for all ‘C runners’ came round. With a small race briefing as the ‘B runners’ started flooding in, Dan was in sight. The tag of the hand and off I went, coming around the first bend bearing right there was a slight down hill and I took full advantage opening my legs that little bit more with the scenic view of trees and the race course on the left.
The course straightened up and with that the gradual climb I could see in the distance soon came up too. The watch clocked up the first mile and I felt strong. Only less than a mile to go.
Coming out of the straight and leading to the last bend I felt myself clock watching every quarter of mile wanting it to get closer and with that I could start to set the finish line flags blowing in the wind.
The support from other clubs coming into the finish was brilliant and with Paul waiting for me I got through the finish line, tagged the hand and off he went. By the time I got my cup of water and had a chance to look up, Paul was out of sight though and his loop time proved that I wasn’t going crazy at his speed of disappearance (he is not human!).
Brett next for us as the ‘E runner’ and finishing off strong with Jamie as the ‘F runner.’
A cool down lap of the loop with everyone was awesome and certainly felt like a real team.
As the race came to an end the results quickly came in, an overall sixth placed position finish was a great achievement with everyone putting in amazing effort on a fast course.
Honoured to represent the purple and gold at what will hopefully become a very popular event.
Wonderful weather certainly keeping everyone in happy spirits and of course the surprise slices of cake from Doug and Geraldine’s Charity Cake Day courtesy of Dan were an added bonus. Lovely bit of baking.
Well done everyone. Great day out.